Notes on Yilu Class of October 9, 2020 – Steve Doob

by Steve Doob on 2020/10/10

Once again Master Chen found it necessary to tell us how to learn. Many of us were practicing as he was teaching. And of course, I was one of them. He was giving each of us a private lesson and we should have been listening intently. At that point, practicing was just a distraction. Yes, practicing is totally necessary, but not when the teacher is telling us the important things that other teachers would call secrets and probably wouldn’t even teach. If we’re at all smart, we’ll take advantage of the wonderful opportunity Master Chen is providing.
Something I particularly remember is that all the movements of the upper body are to be powered by the lower body. Wherever you find yourself you should have gotten there by having pushed into the ground and the power pushing up through you. And then if you want to do another movement it has to start by again pushing into the ground.
Another thing I remember is that when we look down it’s because we don’t have a partner to work with. It’s certainly true for me. My wife is constantly telling me my neck is bad because I’m looking down. Not having a partner, I need to find the target for all the movements and keep my intention focused on it. Looking down would not help me in a fight!

About Steve Doob

Studied Kenpo Karate with Ralph Castro in San Francisco from 1963 to 1967. Studied Yang Style with Choy, Kam-Man in San Francisco in 1968. Moved to southern Oregon in 1973. Taught Yang Style and self defense at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass, OR from 1978 to 1995. Brought George Xu (Xu, Guo-Min) to Grants Pass for weekend workshops from 1987 to 2005. Been to Shanghai with my wife four times where we studied martial arts with various people. Moved to Durango, CO in 2005 and lived in a large house shaped like a pyramid. In 2021 we moved to a lovely house surrounded by rhododendrons and old growth trees in Port Ludlow, WA. My wife practices "energy" tai chi and I've narrowed my efforts to Practical Method. First saw Chen, Zhonghua in online videos and am trying to learn his style, because I think its structural emphasis is correct.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Teresa Kalla January 7, 2022 at 9:19 pm

Hello Steve Doob!
I hope this reaches you, I learned Tai Chi from you at RCC in the late 70s, early 80s. Also you painted an old station wagon for us…a Ford…yellow. Anyway it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do the entire form, but I’m doing “cloud’s hands” as part of my daily routine and I’m so grateful for your instruction. Take care, be well.


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